Red Wings Have Log Jams at Two Key Positions; Moves Coming?

Are the Detroit Red Wings not done making moves this offseason?
2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Round One
2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Round One / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

The Detroit Red Wings this off-season have made changes to the roster, hoping to see a playoff appearance this upcoming season. However, there is still work to do behind the scenes with General Manager Steve Yzerman. He has a log jam at two positions that need to be addressed before training camp, with moves to ease that issue coming. Who will go and who will stay?

Red Wings, Yzerman to make more moves

Defenseman Erik Gustafsson was signed as a free agent on July 2 to replace the void left by Shayne Gostisbehere, who signed with the Carolina Hurricanes. A good signing by Yzerman gives Detroit a solid two-way defenseman who played a big role last season for the New York Rangers. However, this move leaves Detroit with six left-handed defensemen. Gustafsson, William Lagesson, Olli Maata, Albert Johansson, Simon Edvinsson, and Ben Chiarot. None of these players will play the right side because that has been addressed.

Defensemen are a premium position in the NHL and one, or more of these players, will be moved in some capacity before the season. Yzerman is not going to keep one of these players on the roster to sit and use cap space. He will find them a new place to play but he needs to act quickly as teams will start to fill out their training camp rosters soon an may run out of room. Lagesson may be sent to the American Hockey League of the Red Wings, the Grand Rapids Girffins. Johansson has to be with Detroit because he could get claimed on waivers if he is sent down. A lot to think about and who could be on the move.

Detroit also has five goaltenders on the roster, but this one should be easier to figure out. The Red Wings have Ville Husso, Alex Lyon, Cam Talbot, Jack Campbell, and Sebastian Cossa. Talbot was just signed and Lyon has one-year left on his deal so this would likely be the tandem in Detroit. Campbell is also a new addition and may see a backup role to Cossa in Grand Rapids. This leaves Husso. He does have an injury history but, when he plays, can still be a solid starter or play a backup role. With teams looking for goaltenders, Husso is the one to move from this bunch. Although Lyon may garner some attention based on his play last season. Big decision for Yzerman to make the right move.

Yzerman still has a lot of work to do before opening night. With the surplus of defensemen and goaltenders, he may try to package two or three players in a big deal, one move to less complicate things. We should not expect a big return on any of these players but more of a draft picks-in-return type of deal. There are not star players in the list above who are on their way out so the return will be low. Yzerman and his scouting team have done well over the past couple of seasons with drafting so he will look to add picks instead of players.